Over time new routines need be learned and content needs to be adjusted to new platforms. Voice inside the car is one of them. During the Voice of the Car summit on seventh and eighth of April several companies talked about how they distribute their content via voice in the car.
(Source: General Motors)
To get a wider understanding where voice in the car is compared to, to other devices with a voice assistant in it. Ford has created a Voice Assistant Adoption Curve. This clearly shows where voice is today. It indicates that voice search is the farthest along. This is due to the fact that voice search can be used on all of the voice devices. Many consumers have tried it whether it was on their smartphone or on their smart speakers. Interestingly, it shows that voice in the car is further along then smart speakers. This also becomes obvious in a research carried out by Amazon, where users of voice in car where more satisfied with the in car voice experience then with a smart speaker at home. It might be due to the fact that in home we have higher expectations of what the smart speaker should do. While driving in a car we have lesser expectations of what it can do, because it is not connected to the Wi-Fi and drivers should not be distracted from the road. One thing that is missing on the Voice Assistant Adoption Curve are the smart home integrations, the well know color changing Philips Hue light bulbs or smart plugs. They are often bought with a smart speaker. These home devices give the smart speakers extra use cases. One could argue that the smart home devices with voice integration would be in at the end of the early adopters stage.
Although, companies that have known what happens inside of the car for many years are radio companies, iHeart Media is one of them. They strongly showed that radio over the years had remained stable. However, with the smart speakers it has increased with 180% over a period of two years. Now, radio inside of the car is about companionship. It about getting trusted information and hearing a human conversation, live. All during the listeners commute to and from work. Listening to music only is more about me time during selected moments of the day. By having this constant live presents they do believe that with voice assistants inside of the car radio it will remain stable. Voice assistants just add to the existing experience, it gives another layer to the companionship radio already brings to them.
Another way to add to the experience would be via creating your own avatar. Loom.ai brings them to life in all different kinds of conversational platforms, starting with chatbots, to your smart speaker with screen and your car display. These are not just avatars they lip-sync just like a real person does and body gestures are included. They can point towards things on the screen just like a real weather presenter on the news would do. They show emotions and look at you. These avatars give the opportunity to create a face for a brand where there was none before. It gives the voice that they know a face too. By the use of avatars loom.ai can enrich the consumer experience and create better connections towards brands.
As it is now voice assistants built into the car are working quite well and fulfill most of the tasks the user expects from them. Major companies that are present in the car believe that they will stay so for the coming years. What voice can do for them as for new companies that enter the car space is to enhance the commutes. To let the user personalize their car in the way they want and expect it to be like via voice.
One way to personalize the car experience would be to give the right amount of content the user asks for and can listen to during their commute. There is a big difference between a 15 minute drive and an hour drive. That’s where AudioBurst can come in. They can help with different types of spoken audio, such as Radio or Podcasts. Their Ai-powered recommendation system analyzes the user preferences, habits, and trending topics to provide the consumer with just the right content for the moment. They even deliver special made content for a device, wearable to car to IoT devices.
To get to know all of the new experiences the user can have inside of their car. Consumers need to create new habits and get to know the devices they are talking to. People are starting to create new habits inside of their home with the smart speakers. They do bring those habits to the car and expect voice assistants to be able to do the same in the car as in their house too. However, to be able to create these new habits the basic needs need to be fulfilled and this is where media companies especially play a crucial role. Media companies fill the content gap. They are the ones providing consumers with entertainment, games, knowledge and the news. They make sure you can ask for a joke or ask for the weather update.
Next to providing the content that is necessary to ask the basic things. Media companies have the power to help the voice assistants with their most difficult task so far, discoverability. Media companies have many followers and listeners. By repeating to their consumers how this new technology works they can help with the discoverability issue voice is having at the moment. One great example would be Mereditch Corporation, they reach the fast majority of women in the United States and they collaborate with other brands to get their voice Action/Skills discovered. By doing so they help with discoverability, drive consumers to a voice Action/Skill of a particular brand and get the user to know new habits.
In conclusion, voice devices are all at different stages of the adoption curve. Each device has their own specific user requirements. Depending on what context the device is it, the amount of what is expected goes up or down respectively. Media companies have the advantage to teach users how each product works. What they should expect from each device. While at the same time it is up to others to create content for the devices to and especially adjust it to the context. What a user does in their living room is different from inside of the car or while biking. Discoverability will be an issue that will be around for a bit more. Google and Amazon have said that they are researching how to make it better. Up to now it is about creating fitting experiences in the right context and teaching your own reader, listeners, or subscribers how they can use this new platform or collaborate with indeed a media company.